Meet Scotty Moore: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every week.

What would a Retro Dee blog post be without another ridiculous story of how I mistook something, or, in this case, should I say someone.

Let’s back up. I always liked Elvis Presley’s 50’s music. After all, I love all early Rock N Roll. But I knew that Elvis did not really play the guitar. That fact made me slightly less of a fan, to be honest. I mean, if Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, and Eddie Cochran could master the guitar (and on NO uncertain terms) why couldn’t Elvis? So why out of the five of them, was Elvis crowned King?

Once I got past that question and just accepted Elvis for the miracle of the stage and screen that he was, I never thought about who was behind the music. Elvis was front and center and I went no further than that.

It was a case of mistaken identity that caused me to discover the genius behind the guitar work for Elvis’s songs.

One day I came across a picture on a popular online radio station’s IG page:

Immediately, I thought the young man in the foreground on the guitar was my love, Buddy Holly- without his glasses, of course, and very early in his career. I gasped when I noticed Elvis in the background sitting handsomely, backwards on a chair. I commented on what a fantastic picture it was of Buddy Holly with Elvis Presley in the background. Two of the greatest legends of all time. Just amazing!

I was so enchanted, that I also planned to write a blog post about the picture. “Buddy and Elvis: An Amazing Photo!” Here’s what I was going to post:

“When I find something like this picture of Buddy practicing with Elvis in the background, it doesn’t matter who did what to whom, who ended up where, or how the world changed afterward. A picture like this stops time. It’s just epic.”

But before I could get as far as embarrassing myself any further, thankfully, the radio station messaged me back.

“That’s not Buddy Holly,” they said. “It’s Scotty Moore.”

Time stopped yet again. I was too shocked to even be embarrassed. How could I have made such a mistake?! I felt like I was insane! I stared at the picture and looked more closely.

“By God, it’s true. It’s NOT Buddy Holly. It’s… Scotty Moore? But who’s that?”, I wondered.

Well, I was about to find out who the man behind Elvis’s music was. It was the talented and handsome Winfield Scott “Scotty” Moore II- born on December 27, 1935 and died on June 28, 2016.

But back to the topic of mistaken identity….

When I do something this incredibly stupid, I at least attempt to defend myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You be the judge. I really don’t care. But I still say that Buddy Holly and Scotty Moore looked somewhat, no, more than somewhat alike.

Let’s check out the side-by-side below with Scotty on the left and Buddy (no glasses) on the right:

Scotty Moore and Buddy Holly
Scotty Moore (left) and Buddy Holly (right)

Okay if that doesn’t work for you, maybe this next photo is where I got the idea. Again, on the left is Scotty Moore and on the right is Buddy Holly, as a young teen. Tell me that doesn’t look like the same person? Of course, Buddy would have been older, if he had been in that photo with Elvis; they were less than 2 years apart in age.

Scotty Moore and Buddy Holly (teen)
Scotty Moore (left) and Buddy Holly as a teen (right)

Now you see why I confused the two? Hmm?

Here are a couple more pictures that I feel Scotty could’ve passed for Buddy in. (Sans the glasses, obviously.)

Scotty Moore with Elvis Presley ca. 1950s

Oh I can definitely see Buddy in the photo above. I’ll even admit that if I didn’t know any better by now, this would have fooled me as well.

In this next one, I think Scotty looks like Buddy too, although perhaps a bit older than Buddy ever got to be.

Scotty Moore (unsure of date)

Finally, here is Buddy again on his album cover and frankly, I happen to think that he looks a lot like Scotty Moore here, too.

Buddy Holly album cover photo, 1957

So. Are you buying what I’m selling, or is my case hopeless? All right, so… they weren’t twins. But I sure would’ve liked to see what Scotty looked like in horn-rimmed glasses.

Follow “Retro Dee’s Guide the The Best Era Ever” on WordPress. You can also follow Retro Dee on Twitter @RealRetroDee and on Instagram @mariepascal82

First round voting has started in the 11th annual Great 88 listener survey. The survey your 10 favorite songs from 1957 closes Saturday at 10 PM. Polls for the best songs from 1955 and earlier and 1962 are also currently open. Pick your 10 favorites on each of the surveys daily. Write-in votes are also allowed. A full first-round schedule and additional information can be found here. You can also find results of the first 10 annual surveys here.

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